Longer the format, tougher it is for smaller teams. in other words, Twenty20 matches are were minnows have relatively bigger chance of surprizing senior teams cause they don't have to worry about being bowled out or negotiate experienced batsmen for 50 overs or 5 days..
Zimbabwe proved it with win over Australia in first world cup 3 years ago and even in warm-ups to this World T20 2010 tournament, boys from Africa had won over contenders Australia and defending champions Pakistan. Today, senior Sri Lankans had to win this match against Zimbabwe after losing first & only other group game against New Zealand and they sure weren't taking it lightly.
Rain was imminent, which makes Lanka's decision of batting first a dangerous one when coin rolled in their favour.
1 over into Zimbabwe's chase, rain god interrupted for the first time in championship and target was revised to 106 from 11 overs from original 174 from 20 overs but watching dark clouds overhead, we all knew rain wouldn't allow 66 balls to be bowled which made Duckworth Lewis (D/L) equation for par score even more interesting. Commentators informed Zimbabwe, who had lost just one wicket till now, needed to be 60 for no more loss from or 66 or more if a wicket was to fall at the 5th over mark.
Sadly, both Tatenda Taibu and Brendon Taylor seemed satisfied nudging singles and fell 14 run short when rain stopped play for the second and final time. Zimbabweans batted exactly 5 overs, scored no baundary, and disappointed neutral fans who may have been backing them to watch a real contest.
Earlier in the day, Mahela Jayawardene scored only the 4th individual century in Twenty20 internationals. Jayawardene looked in termendos touch right from ball one, hitting lofted fours and sixes over covers in his usual classical manner and slogging spinners over mid-wicket baundary. Debutant Thissara Perera provided good support to former Sri Lanka captain but back to back dismissals of Perera, captain Kumar Sangakkara, Dinesh Chandimal and Angelo Mathews slowed Jayawardene down considerably.
Chamara Kapugedera hit two lusty sixes to finish Lanka's innings on a high after Jayawardene departed straight after reaching three figure score.
The scoresSri Lanka 173 for 7 wickets in 20 overs.
M Jayawardene 100, T Perera 23, R Price 2/31.
Zimbabwe 29 for 1 in 5 overs (14 run short)
Full scorecard : SL v Zim, World T20 2010.
Tatenda Taibupresented a new trick for twenty20 matches as wicket keeper didn't wear pads for most of second half of his fielding innings. Keeping pads disallow gloveman to field as acrobatically as do other 10 fielders and hence Taibu's experiment without them was a smart decision. Wonder how many other keepers would do the same in time to come.